Posts tagged america
Posts tagged america
Posting might be light over the next couple of days, I’m heading out of town to visit my folks.
Hopefully if you get together with your family for Thanksgiving, it’s marvelously uncomplicated.
However, let’s remember the history of Thanksgiving is not uncomplicated - in fact, it’s fairly complex and brutal. This documentary, The Canary Effect, is a sobering look at the marginalization of American Indians in the United States.
The filmmakers, Robin Davey and Yellow Thunder Woman, are also members of The Bastard Fairies. Check them out - they put their own spin on the pepper-spray cop meme:
And I cannot believe this is America. This is not the America I was raised to love.
The America I was raised to believe in is a figment of history’s imagination. I have known this for years.
Yet the shock is overwhelming.
There was a woman screaming about throwing away the books. Five thousand plus books thrown in the garbage. All that knowledge.
The police are taking the food, throwing it away, blockading and arresting the press, closing the airspace above the park so news helicopters can’t film.
An NYC councilman was beaten about the head and face. He is bleeding profusely.
Residents near Zuccotti Park are locked in their buildings per the NYPD’s orders.
Streets and bridges are barricaded. The counter-terrorism force is on scene.
There is a sound cannon capable of blowing the eardrums of onlookers.
My fellow citizens are bloodied and battered.
And the music I’m listening to in the background as I watch this horror unfold just shuffled to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
And now I feel I am watching a funeral.
And a birth.
From The Maddow Blog:
This sign - and commentary - is hanging outside a food pantry in Manhattan’s East Village. Maybe it’s time we did something about the economy.
Food banks all over the country are seeing record demand and having difficulty keeping the shelves stocked. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking a few cans to my local food banks this week. And there’s this:
The number of Americans receiving food stamps reached a record 45.345 million in July, the government said. The number was 0.4 percent higher than the previous month and 8.4 percent more than a year earlier.
Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program had set records every month since December 2008. Texas had the most food-stamp recipients in July, 4.051 million.
A record 1 in 5 people in the US receive federal assistance to feed themselves once WIC is factored in. The average monthly allotment per household is $283.68. Of course, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) thinks the program is out of control. Here’s what he said in an interview with ABC News:
"Well, look, do you think there are four times as many people that need food stamps today as they did in 2001? This year, they are proposing another 14 percent increase in food stamps without any real reform to understand how it is that it surged so dramatically. We cannot do this. We don’t have the money. If Congress doesn’t understand that we can’t continue to double the food stamp program every three years, they don’t understand how deeply we are impacted by the debt. The debt is already pulling down economic growth, costing jobs. We need people working with jobs, not receiving food stamps."
The past year was an excellent one for Sen. Sessions. His net worth increased 124% in 2010 - raising him from millionaire to multimillionaire - which is likely why he said it was "rather pathetic" to expect multimillionaires to shoulder a little more of the burden. Meanwhile, in his state of Alabama, 36% of people receive food stamps and the unemployment rate is 9.8%.
Yes, we need to have people with jobs - though Sessions voted against the jobs bill - and I have a hint as to the why this “surge” occurred: We have a government, specifically Congress, that cares more for dick waving contests and petty infighting than giving a damn that the food stamp usage rate has dramatically risen. American families are going hungry while Congress collectively twiddles their thumbs or butts heads over to what degree the richest 1% deserve to be subsidized.
American exceptionalism? How about being the most unequal industrialized country? How’s that for number one? This is unsustainable and unconscionable. Period.
Or have you arrested for wanting to close your account…
God has apparently had it with us, but for much different reasons than Pat Robertson preaches. This was written by one of those progressive, social-justice oriented reverends Glenn Beck said we should fear.
John Steinbeck understood the bootstrap myth is just that - a myth.
And the winner of the “Worst Constitutional Argument of the Week” Award is… KEVIN A. LEHMANN for his argument that Muslims in America have no First Amendment rights. And yes, he cites European multiculturalism and professional hatemonger Geert Wilders. Lehmann might as well cite Anders Behring Brevik’s manifesto. I wish I were joking.
America faces a grave threat from Islam. Muslims are infiltrating our country in droves and they’re doing it under the guise of “Constitutional Protection.” And like England, if we don’t stand our ground now, it will be too late. Muslims are cunning, crafty and clever. They’re using our ignorance of the understanding of our own Constitution against us, and they are clandestinely and methodically spreading their tentacles in a quiet and unassuming manner.
Federal, state, and local governments on the other hand won’t acknowledge the imminent threat. They incorrectly claim that Muslims have “Constitutional Rights” to come here, proselytize people, build mosques, and implement shariah in their communities and in the public square. They’re dead wrong! And by and large, Islam is getting away with it just like they have in Europe. Only unlike Europe, and in Great Britain in particular, it’s not too late to stem the tide, but we have to act now. Time is not on our side. In fact, this may come as a shock, but there are more mosques being built on American soil than Christian churches. We are already well under way to being Islamized.
To understand Islam is to understand sharia. The religion of Islam is nothing short of a totalitarian political, economic, military, social and legal system that’s camouflaged in religious garb. Their mandate (not objective) is to incorporate our country into a global Islamic caliphate.
Sadly, they are making serious inroads towards their tyrannical mandate because America is not resisting. We are all that stands between freedom and a worldwide Islamic caliphate. The United States of America is the world’s last bastion of hope.
And that’s not the worst of it. The rest of the article is quite similar to the Know-Nothing Party’s platform. This Islamophobia is not unique in that it was Jews, Catholics, Jesuits, Masons, etc. at various points in history.
In fact, in the excerpt, replace references to Muslims with Catholics. Congratulations - you’ve successfully joined the Know-Nothings!
Abraham Lincoln wrote:
"I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy [sic].” - Letter to Joshua F. Speed August 24, 1855
Don’t believe me? Check out their party platform.
Sixty-two percent of Americans think the bill that raises the federal’s debt ceiling through the year 2013 and makes major cuts in government spending benefits the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class, according to a CNN/ORC poll released on Monday.
Only 27 percent say that the debt ceiling deal treats all classes fairly and 11 percent have no opinion.
The poll (PDF) also found that 47 percent of Americans rate the economy “pretty badly” and 28 percent rate it “very badly.” Only 23 percent think the economy is going “fairly well” and a meager 1 percent say it is going “very well.”
In other words, 62 percent of Americans are starting to realize something in the milk ain’t clean.
Is it just me, or does it look a little more like Osama Bin Laden? Click through for discussion on this marvelous encapsulation of America.
Oh sweet baby jeebus, SMBC nails it.
This is America.
Ultimately, federal prosecutors sought 6 years versus a life term for Allen. The New York Times article cited on Reddit doesn’t even mention Allen as being up for a life term. That was the mastermind of the scheme, Lee Farkas. Here’s Allen’s plea agreement.
Roy Brown exhibited remorse and gave back what he stole. The feds have been unable to locate most of the assets stolen by Allen and his co-conspirators.
Did Brown commit a crime? Yes. But why is a man who steals $3 billion somehow worthier of a lesser sentence? Where was the greater harm?
Here’s why Roy Brown says he committed his crime:
A man who said he robbed a downtown Shreveport bank because he was out of a job and hungry has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree robbery.
Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in an e-mailed statement, “Today’s sentence sends a strong message that corporate fraud by senior executives will not be tolerated.” Sean Ragland, 37, a former senior financial analyst at Taylor Bean who also pleaded guilty to the fraud, was sentenced today to three months in prison.
I do get your point. But I feel Paul Allen and his ilk caused much greater harm than Roy Brown ever will.
Some men rob you with a six-gun, others rob you with a fountain pen. - Woody Guthrie
What if we try to ignore raising the debt ceiling? Well, those proposing this are arguing that we simply prioritize spending. If we enact this plan, the first thing covered would be servicing our debt’s interest, plus paying bondholders. Then we pay Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and military payroll. This will halt most federal spending.
Many economists have pointed out this would have drastic consequences, and the US Treasury said in a statement that this would be seen as a default anyhow.
But let’s go to Tea Party fantasy land, where it’s not. Megan McArdle, senior editor at The Atlantic, takes a look at what this will mean for the country:
Let’s say that we refuse to raise the ceiling. Does the prioritization mean that we don’t need to cut politically untouchable programs? No. Let’s think through what would happen if we tried to use this plan:
- You just cut the IRS and all the accountants at Treasury, which means that the actual revenue you have to spend is $0.
- The nation’s nuclear arsenal is no longer being watched or maintained
- The doors of federal prisons have been thrown open, because none of the guards will work without being paid, and the vendors will not deliver food, medical supplies, electricity, etc.
- The border control stations are entirely unmanned, so anyone who can buy a plane ticket, or stroll across the Mexican border, is entering the country. All the illegal immigrants currently in detention are released, since we don’t have the money to put them on a plane, and we cannot actually simply leave them in a cell without electricity, sanitation, or food to see what happens.
- All of our troops stationed abroad quickly run out of electricity or fuel. Many of them are sitting in a desert with billions worth of equipment, and no way to get themselves or their equipment back to the US.
- Our embassies are no longer operating, which will make things difficult for foreign travelers
- No federal emergency assistance, or help fighting things like wildfires or floods. Sorry, tornado people! Sorry, wildfire victims! Try to live in the northeast next time!
- Housing projects shut down, and Section 8 vouchers are not paid. Families hit the streets.
- The money your local school district was expecting at the October 1 commencement of the 2012 fiscal year does not materialize, making it unclear who’s going to be teaching your kids without a special property tax assessment.
- The market for guaranteed student loans plunges into chaos. Hope your kid wasn’t going to college this year!
- The mortgage market evaporates. Hope you didn’t need to buy or sell a house!
- The FDIC and the PBGC suddenly don’t have a government backstop for their funds, which has all sorts of interesting implications for your bank account.
- The TSA shuts down. Yay! But don’t worry about terrorist attacks, you TSA-lovers, because air traffic control shut down too. Hope you don’t have a vacation planned in August, much less any work travel.
- Unemployment money is no longer going to the states, which means that pretty soon, it won’t be going to the unemployed people.
These are just the very immediate, very theatrical outcomes. Obviously, over any longer term, you’d have issues from bankrupt vendors stopping work funded with federal highway money, forgone maintenance on things like levees and government buildings, and so forth. Averting any of these things would require at least small cuts in Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid spending, or military payrolls.
Even though these seem theatrical, it could happen. This is the kind of fire the Tea Party is playing with - do we really want to test these possibilities?
Right?! At least one reason…